Posted in Generic Ones, Reading Materials, Requires Travel

Get Donald Trump to Autograph This Book

This book “2001 Things to Do Before you Die” was printed back in 1997. It was still funny to see this item to get check marked from the list. I really didn’t (& still don’t) think I’ll get this accomplished. Mainly because I live on the West Coast.

Last year, I had the bright idea to try sending it to the White House. I knew they would be getting TONS of mail and most likely I wouldn’t get anything back. But I also thought it might be quirky enough to make it through. I enclosed a letter and the book. I even added a return envelope. Then I sent it off. Now, you can go to the White House’s webpage to get where to send mail, and they say it will take a couple of weeks to get any response.  It took about two months and by that time, I went ahead and purchased the book again because I didn’t really know if I would get the other one back.

IMG_4333Imagine my surprise when there was an envelope with the White House address at the front door one day. I opened it up and was happy to see the book returned and a letter with a response that I wasn’t surprised about. The president was thankful for my letter, but unfortunately too busy at this time. Here’s a photo and a copy of his signature for you.

Well, I guess I could go ahead and count that as a half check for this item. I did get his autograph, just not in the book. I really don’t know if I will ever have the opportunity to ask for him to sign it. Politics and likes or dislikes aside, it would be fun to get this done. (and while at it, get the “shake hands with someone famous” checked off too)

If you have any ideas to help with this, I would appreciate the assist.

Would you like the extra copy of this book?

 

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Posted in Reading Materials

On the Bookshelf: 1984

1001 Books to Read Before You Die

read about this challenge and see the full list here

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Publication Date: 1949
Country: USA
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 328

Synopsis: Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thought crimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching…

A startling and haunting vision of the world, 1984 is so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the influence of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

My Book Report: I am not sure if I want to do a book report/review for each one. I will definitely let you know on ones I absolutely hated.

Posted in Reading Materials

On the Bookshelf: Foundation

1001 Books to Read Before You Die

read about this challenge and see the full list here

Title: Foundation
Author: Isaac Asimov
Publication Date: 1951
Country: USA
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 255

Synopsis: For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future–to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire–both scientists and scholars–and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun–or fight them and be destroyed.

My Book Report: I am not sure if I want to do a book report/review for each one. I will definitely let you know on ones I absolutely hated. This one was a pretty easy read, short chapters of different situations through the years. If I think of more to add I will.

Posted in Reading Materials

Read Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, and Burroughs (part 1 of 4)

I’ve been wondering why all these authors were grouped together. According to Wikipedia’s entry; “The Beat Generation was a group of American post-World War II writers who came to prominence in the 1950’s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired. Central elements of “Beat” culture included rejection of received standards, innovations in style, experimentation with drugs, alternative sexualities, an interest in Eastern religion, a rejection of materialism, and explicit portrayals of the human condition”

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

I am so happy I can finally say I finished reading “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac! I don’t why, but it’s taken me over a year to get through this book. I can cross off 1 out of the 4 authors. Although, these other authors are featured a bit in the book so I almost can stop here. But I won’t, I’ll try to get through one book by each person.

I started reading this book and immediately noticed that there were no paragraphs or chapters. Guess that’s what they mean by Kerouac’s spontaneous prose style of writing. He rambled on and on about people and his adventures between the years 1947 to 1950. I think that is what made it hard for me to get into the story. The rambling, odd descriptions of what was happening, how he viewed other people, side thoughts or insights, and tangent stories. I told my mom that it felt like I sat down with Kerouac to hear about his adventure over a drink. We all get that way (mostly) with telling someone about a trip right? Start a story, remember other stories, go off on tangents, and then go back to the main story. And there’s no breaks, unless you would count another person interrupting the storyteller.

I had to ask for clarification on a few slang terms and expressions. And after a few pages of reading, I forgot what I had read before. Got the gist of everything, but if I had to go back to write a better review, or a paper on this, I would basically have to reread it all over.

After finishing the book, I am now curious on reading some papers delving into what people think he was writing about and see what they interpret as the meaning behind or into the story. I didn’t understand the difference in this edition as opposed to the original edition published in 1957. It is pretty cool that he first typed this story up on one long piece of paper (120-foot roll of teletype paper), hence why the “scroll”. Later on, he had to break it up and write on normal sheets of paper. He also changed the names of the characters in the story so there would be no libel suits. I read names like Jack Kerouac, is also known as Salvatore “Sal” Paradise. And his other main character, Neal Cassady, is also Dean Moriarty.

It was hilarious, and I don’t think a spoiler, to get toward the end of the story and have it stop abruptly. I was about to get mad, but on the next page there was a note from the editor that it stopped there because the last bit of the scroll had been chewed off by a dog. The editor also noted that based on notes and Kerouc’s published story, he added the last bit.

I thought it interesting on Wikipedia’s page that they had a section of public reception for the book. Both for when it first was published and the current reactions to it, 50 years later. I would say the perception of the story and characters probably have changed drastically over the years.

Posted in Reading Materials

1,001 (+) Books to Read Before You Die

I say 1,001 (plus) because there have been at least 4 revisions (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012) of this book and some books have been taken off the list and others added. The 2010 revision had added a whole lot of international books and taken off quite a number that should have stayed because they are timeless classics and most English courses have had them at some time or another. If one was to have the whole list it would be more like 1305 books.

I posted about listing here those books I have read. I am editing that and added a tab up on top of the blog. I will be listing the full list and then break it up by author, year, genre, and country as I read and finish them. Just like I am doing for the movie list. Not sure if that will help keep track better or not.

Posted in Learning Lessons/Research Discoveries, Looking Forward to, Reading Materials, State of Mind, Super Duper Easy

Buy This Book! (2001 Things to Do)

2,001 Things to Do Before You Die by Dane Sherwood

This was listed on the last page of the book. My opinion is that this should have been the first thing you see.  I was browsing around the book store one day and saw this on one of the center tables that show off best sellers and random books. The “things to do before you die” grabbed my interest and I started browsing through it.

2001 Things to Do Book

My goal is to use this as inspiration to do new things. Or old things and find the photos and write a post. If I can’t find photos, maybe I will redo the experience. There are some that will make me ponder with deep thoughts. And I know there are some that no way I will be doing that item. No matter what, books like this one help change up that daily routine. There are plenty of simple, little, or big items that one can do to keep life from getting boring.

Have you bought this book? Send any recommendations of other books like this. 

Posted in Generic Ones, Learning Lessons/Research Discoveries, On This Day, Reading Materials, State of Mind, Super Duper Easy

On This Day: Read or listen closely to “I Have a Dream”

I originally had this already checked off the list.  I did some school project (probably a few times) with the “I have a dream” speech.

However, the nation is celebrating the 50 year anniversary of when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  marched for civil rights in Washington D.C. and gave this speech.  So, I think it is fitting that it gets it’s own post on the day of.

I’m white (I admit it) and you might say the civil rights he was talking about didn’t affect me.  But I would say back to you that it HAS affected me.  I have grown up in a world where there is integration of races (even of sexes) in so many parts of my life.  I watch those old movies and history documentaries and cannot even begin to imagine how weird it would be to be surrounded with only other whites (and mainly females).  If I think hard about it, I could list all the things I that might be different nowadays if the way things were back then hadn’t changed.

I know there are still places that might be unchanged, but not where I am and not in the many places I’ve been to.

And you have to admit, his speech is pretty universal and touches the nerve to all.

My final thought as I listen to this speech on the day it first was spoken 50 years before; having  President Obama speak it and show history how far we’ve come in our cultural prejudices is pretty darn neat.